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Zehra Zafar

Please tell us more about what you are doing now.

Right now, I am getting ready to go for my much delayed graduation trip! I stayed to teach part-time (creative writing and speech and drama), helped out with the Senior Class Gift 2012 campaign, and to take part in the Commencement performance.

What made you choose to do a degree in Social Sciences and why choose to do it in SMU?

I chose to do a degree in Social Sciences, majoring in Psychology, because I have an interest in people, how they think, why they do the things they do.  SMU was my first choice simply because I knew it was the best place to be if I wanted to challenge myself, improve my communication skills and learn to work in teams. I had heard about how SMU offers its students plenty of opportunities to learn and develop out of the classroom as well, and this proved to be true.

How do you think a Social Science education has benefitted you and helped prepare you for your aspirations?

Classes at SMU are seminar style and discussion based. We are always encouraged to voice our opinions, and question each other. Listening to what my classmates had to say about various issues forced me to broaden my own views, and having open discussions in class made me realise how much there is to learn from the people around us. Studying Psychology especially helped me gain insight into how peoples’ minds work. Skills such as these are useful and valued, in any workplace.

Please tell us more about your student experience while studying in SMU SOSS. Did you encounter any events that were especially memorable to you?

SOSS is a very tightly knit community; almost everyone knows each other eventually, the professors’ doors are always open, and I think this friendly atmosphere helped make university life a lot less stressful. We had regular Social Science nights to get all the students and professors to interact, as well as various other events to keep us happy throughout the term.

In general, my four years in SMU were very exciting. I tried out various activities, from emceeing (at two Social Science nights!) to singing acapella, and in my third year, I was fortunate enough to get the chance to act in “Just So”, the musical produced by SMU’s Office of Student Life. I was also a facilitator for the Social Science Camp (the best camp in SMU) in 2009, which was extremely fun! Being a part of the SMU Ambassadorial Corp gave me many opportunities to develop my leadership skills as well. I also managed to find a great internship at a start-up company, uniQgift, through SMU’s online portal, where I learned a lot under the mentorship of my bosses. One of the most exciting experiences I have ever had was going for an international exchange at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. The university offered many Social Science courses, and I took Turkish classes as well. I was forced to get out of my comfort zone and experience life in a completely new environment, and I was able to make friends from around the world.  

Do you have any advice for your juniors that are currently in SOSS or for those who are planning on joining the SOSS family?

Don’t be afraid to participate in class, and keep an open mind, there is something to learn from everything. Don’t waste any opportunities to try something new, university is the best time to do this, and SMU has a lot to offer!  

Last updated on 13 Sep 2017 .